Category Archives: Uncategorized

Looking For Margot?

Hello, Humans,

For those of you who haven’t met me, I am Mr. Metoo. My roommate, Indy, and I own Margot Kinberg, who keeps this blog.

She’s not here today, I’m afraid. She’s off gallivanting at Mystery Thriller Week, talking about her new book, Downfall. No doubt she’s having a glass of wine and lots of nibbles. Not that I’m getting any treats – unfair, I call it!!

Do feel free to go visit her at Mystery Thriller Week. And as you’ll be there, anyway, check the site out. It’s a great gathering place for authors, publicists, book bloogers, and others who are passionate about crime fiction. You don’t want to miss this year’s big event, coming your way in April.

And when you come back here, please bring me a doggy bag. I just know Margot won’t remember. Thanks!


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Time to Celebrate!!

Hi, it’s Margot,

Thanks for calling. Sorry I’m not in right now, I’m at a champagne party to celebrate the launch of my new novel, Downfall! That’s right, it’s Launch Day! Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you when the champagne wears off as soon as I can.

It’s a very special party, too! I’m at Col’s Criminal Library, where I’m answering some questions about Downfall and some of my other writing.

Please join me at Col’s – good times for everyone! Grab a glass of the bubbly and help me celebrate!





Thanks, Col!!




You can get your Kindle copy of Downfall right here!

Prefer paper? Pick up your copy right here!


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I Will Follow Where You Lead*

The ‘photo is of a few of a collection of poems and short stories inspired by natural settings. This special anthology was created by a group of young people I was privileged to meet when a colleague and I presented a workshop on writing in nature.

Several of these young people are girls, and I wouldn’t be surprised if at least a few of them decided to pursue writing. And that’s the thing.  There are many young, female writers out there who have talent and motivation. But if you’re a writer, you know how frustrating and difficult it can be to channel your passion and your talent into work that gets published and that people read. It’s a lot easier to get through those challenges if you have a mentor.

Today is International Women’s Day. I think we’d all agree that we still have a long way to go to reach the point where women all over the world have equity. We’re getting there, little by little, but we’re not there yet. And sometimes thinking about what needs to be done can be disheartening. That’s where mentoring comes in.

You see, mentoring is something you can do without having to wait for a law to be passed, funds to be allocated, or a policy to change. It doesn’t have to cost a penny, either. And it can make all the difference in the world to a young person.

In this post, I’m going to focus on mentoring girls and young women in the world of writing, but you don’t need to confine yourself to that. I’ll bet your profession, whatever it is, gives you opportunities. I invite you to consider them.



Ladies, if you write, whether or not you’ve had anything published, you have much to offer girls and young women who want to see themselves as writers. You don’t have to be famous to be able to share what you’ve learned and reach out. Each country and area are different when it comes to working with students in school, but here’s what I’ve found.

Many schools welcome community members (like writers) who want to read to students, answer questions about what it’s like to be a writer, and so on. You can offer workshops, facilitate poetry slams or short story/essay readings, and so on if your schedule and your particular community allow it. If they don’t, your local library might let you offer a writing circle. There are a lot of other ways, too, in which you can reach out to young female writers.

Your presence as an expert writer (whether or not you see yourself that way) gives girls and young women a role model – someone who is like them. In sharing your own writing journey (including some of those – ahem – less-than-perfect moments), you are sending young writers the message that they can do this. In helping them work through drafts of their work, you are supporting it, and you are teaching them that what they are doing is valuable. Reaching back to the generation behind you means that there will be a new generation of confident female writers.



If you’re a writer, you also have an important role to play in mentoring girls and young women in their writing. Your responses to what they say and write tells them a lot about your assumptions about them. You have plenty of writing expertise and experience to share, and the way you share it makes a difference.

You can (and I invite you to) reach out to young female writers through workshops, readings, ask-the-author events, and so on. But just as valuable is your attitude towards what they’re doing. When girls and young women see that you view them as writing colleagues, this sends the message that they are worthy of respect. Encouraging young girls to keep writing, and supporting their efforts, tells them that you believe in them.

It’s straightforward enough to do that when, say, you’re facilitating a writing circle. But there are other, subtle but meaningful things you can do to support young female writers. For instance, you can read and discuss different sorts of books by women. Among other things, doing that helps you check your assumptions about what women ‘should’ choose as writing styles, genres and themes. It also gives you a solid background to draw on as you work with young writers. You can also use your professional connections to help welcome girls and young women into the writing community. The more people who support a young writer, the better.

Mentors can make a real difference for young writers. They provide guidance, professional connections, and support. And they serve as role models. Mentoring doesn’t have to cost anything, and the payoff can be tremendous. On this International Women’s Day, I invite you to consider mentoring a girl or young woman who’s becoming a writer. Who knows? She may end up being a world-famous writer in a few years. And you’ll be on her Contacts list. Just sayin’…


*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Carole King’s Where You Lead.


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Crime Fiction News Break


Links You’ll Want 

I Bring Sorrow and Other Stories of Transgression

Patricia Abbott 

Fighting Monsters  

Rebecca Bradley 

A Corpse in the Castle 

Dark of Night 

Claire Duffy

Diamond Dagger Award to be presented to Michael Connelly



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Vale Bernadette

My world is colder and emptier today. There is no better way to describe it. Yesterday I learned of the passing of Bernadette, of Reactions to Reading, and co-host of Fair Dinkum Crime. She was not just a friend to crime fiction, but was also, I’m privileged to say, a personal friend.

Anyone who ever read her blog will know that her reviews were thoughtful, candid, and intelligent. I learned every single time I visited. And part of the reason I did is that she didn’t confine herself to just bestsellers or ‘the book everyone’s talking about.’ She read books from ‘no-names,’ too, and if they were well-written, she said so, and encouraged other people to read them, too. Her blog was a rich resource of reviews, opinions, rants, charts, and really helpful information about crime fiction.

Bernadette was a champion of Australian and New Zealand crime fiction, and she introduced me to a number of authors from that part of the world that I would never have tried otherwise. You might not know this, but she also did a lot behind the scenes to promote crime fiction by Australians (especially Australian women) and New Zealanders. She was on award panels (not an easy job) and committees, and never missed an opportunity to be a voice for the genre.

I am also proud to say that Bernadette was a personal friend. In fact, if I may, let me share a memory. It was a chilly June evening. I’d gone to Australia for a conference, and Bernadette was kind enough to host me for the few days I was in that part of the country. We got to chatting that evening over a glass of good wine. We talked about books, about culture, and about a lot of other things. The conversation was fun, but it was also fascinating, and I learned a lot. At one point, we got into a really interesting debate about language. I don’t know that either of us convinced the other. I do know that I cherish the memory of laughing, joking, and taking apart ideas with her.

I will miss Bernadette sorely as a friend and fellow book lover. She was generous, funny, smart, incisive, and insightful. She welcomed me when I first joined the online crime fiction community and was supportive of both my blogging and my writing. I am a better person and writer because of her.

And the world is a better place because she was in it. Bernadette was a passionate advocate for reading, for literacy, and for speaking up against injustice. Far from being complacent, she did what she could to support libraries, independent bookshops, and easy access to books for everyone, regardless of income.

It’s in that spirit that I’d like to extend an invitation. Bernadette wasn’t one to spend a lot of time wringing her hands. She rolled up her sleeves and did what needed to be done. So, let’s do something to commemorate that.

One of her top causes was Books in Homes Australia, which is dedicated to providing books of choice to all children, including those who live remotely and/or can’t afford to pay. As a way of remembering Bernadette and paying tribute to her passion for reading and for volunteering, I invite you to consider donating to Books in Homes Australia. I’d like to think that Bernadette would be pleased to know that we were doing some good.

I know I’m going to donate. As soon as I dry my tears.  We’ll miss you more than you could know, Bernadette.


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